Geokker made the following comment in the post below.

“You say “we are all pawns in our governments’ callous, acquisitive war games and we will be the ones who have to pay for their greed.”

I think it may be dangerous to distance ‘us’ from our government too far (my belief that democracy is a fantasy notwithstanding). Their greed is our greed. We in the West – particularly the invading countries should remember that our militaries were designed to protect us and our interests.” [see original comment for full text]

This is a very good point. We Westerners enjoy a outlandishly high standard of living compared to much of the world. And whenever we have excess, someone else must have a deficit. There’s only so much to go round.

But it overlooks one important point: our leaders, by and large, are wealthy members of a small elite. Not ordinary people.

If the leader of a country is rich, well-connected and has (for example) a family who have personally made millions of dollars from corporate interests, whose interest are they likely to be serving when they pass laws and make decisions?

The working class people who keep their country running, the people they have no contact with and no interest in?

Or the rich people they grew up around, offer jobs to and play golf with?

Our leaders act in the interests of the wealthy, the powerful and the owners of big business. Because that’s who they are too. We know this is the way it is. All the major political parties support this arrangement, implicitly or explicitly. And within the current political system, it’s pretty hard for any candidates who oppose that paradigm to get anywhere. That’s democratic capitalism for you.

Sadly, only truly revolutionary or optimistic people can think of ways of fighting this world order. It seems impossible to dismantle, a system which should perhaps be left to destroy itself from the inside, via its own contradictions, rather than be changed by the least influential of its participants. The rest of us resort to writing scathing articles or tutting when one of these hypocritical politicians appears on screen to talk about ending poverty. And noting that they neglect to mention how we could easily feed the world and provide clean water for all if we cut our ‘defence’ spending and abandoned the misconceived neo-classical economics theories which insist constant growth is both possible and desirable.

Is there anyone reading this who honestly believes their national leader makes their policy decisions based on the interests of ordinary folk?